In addition to maniacal cleaning that included a run-in with wood floor polish just moments before our adoption social worker rang the doorbell to begin the home visit portion of our home study, Tom and I ensured we would meet our agency requirements with such practical things as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. At the time, these were just boxes on a checklist, something to get us one step closer to beginning our family.
I’d actually been toting from apartment to apartment and eventually to our first home together a fire extingusher my father had given me when I’d first left my parents’ nest. Good thing the adoption agency required one because it forced us to actually look at the darn thing – who knew they expired? – and saw ours was good for little more than a splash of red in the decor.
Guess it’s that mindset of being young and indestructable. Up-to-code fire extinguishers aren’t exactly on your mind when you’re cramming for college exams, working to cover your rent, socializing with friends, following a band up and down the East Coast during summer stints from work and school and, well, just being carefree.
Funny how having a child changes that. How, when it comes time to care for our own young, safety ratings on carseats, coupon deals on diapers and expiration dates on extinguishers suddenly take on proportions warranting discussion, research, data.
Carefree becomes careful.
We actually wound up in a checkout line with four brand-spanking-new fire extinguishers – three more than we were required to have – and later that day, after careful conversation and consideration about location, we placed one on each floor of our home, as well as the attic and basement.
All part of us creating our own nest, I suppose. After all, my husband had proudly declared during the months leading up to our placement with Maeve that we were officially in full-on nesting mode.
Well, here’s a product for all you nesters and those of us pining for the wholly uninterrupted sleep of pre-parental days as those decreases in winks have resulted in a well-honed ability to sleep through a sounding alarm clock, deep in denial that morning has arrived, ready or not. (Yet I’m wide-eyed awake as soon as I hear Maeve through the baby intercom as she coughs or even changes her breathing pattern. Splain that.)
Seems there are smoke alarms that are voice-recorded. Like expiring extinguishers, I had no idea. And according to a study published in a recent issue of Pediatrics journal, children responded better to these alarms than traditional tone alarms.
A study by Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children’s Hospital found that 23 of 24 children – ages 6 to 12 – woke from a deep sleep when a smoke detector recorded with their mother’s voice called out: “[First name! First name!] Wake up! Get out of bed! Leave the room!”
Using the traditional tone alarm, just 58 percent of the children woke up. One child didn’t respond to either alarm.
(Of course, this very idea gets my wicked mind racing with possibilities. If only I knew of these alarms when newborn Maeve first arrived, I would have had the perfect use for a remote-controlled version: You know, for those heavy-sleeper husbands who can’t seem to hear the baby cry and need a major nudge before they budge. Yes. I am certain there’s a perfect message in there just waiting to be recorded by a bleary-eyed mom. Although I will give Tom credit where it’s due: Once he was “nudged” awake and in Maeve’s nursery, he was fabulous.)
Seriously, though, something with life-saving potential is always worth looking into. Among the companies offering them are SignalOne and KidSmart. Here’s the study, crack open the consumer guides and nest away, folks, nest away.